Airspace Q1 2019 – Versatile and responsive


Human performance is vital to safe and efficient air traffic management. But ATCO duties are changing, caused by disruptive technologies, new ATM concepts, increased automation and decision support tools. Especially in complex situations, disturbances and unpredictable events, ATCO performance is key.

Developing and ensuring versatile and responsive ATCO performance forces new requirements and challenges on ATM solutions. It is essential to create synergy by connecting all aspects of human effectiveness in an integrated way, to ensure that ATCOs are fit to operate now and in the future.

The Netherlands Aerospace Centre NLR has developed comprehensive and innovative solutions comprising the whole span of human effectiveness; from determining optimum human-machine interfaces, developing and validating new operational concepts, automation and decision support tools, and assessing operator fatigue and ATCO performance.

The aim is not only to unlock the full potential of an ATCO but decrease costs and increase the effectiveness of training. The principles of ‘train-as-you-operate’ and ‘train-for-the-unexpected’ underpin the philosophy. And evidence based and personalised training has been developed to meets actual needs.

Simulation and new technology are also vital tools. Simulation offers a realistic, safe, controllable, and relatively inexpensive environment and can seamlessly be integrated into modern training. New technology like augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence provide innovative and cost-effective solutions for training.

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